The Town of Plainfield


Image and text from Otsego county New York Geographical and Historical
by Edwin F Bacon, Ph B. 1902 Oneonta NY

Page 55. PLAINFIELD. Area 17,142 acres. Population 897.

Plainfield was set off from Richfield in 1799. The surface is hilly,
the bluffs along the Unadilla river, which constitutes its western
boundary, rising to the height of 400 feet. The first settlement was
made in 1793 and the first settlers were Luther Smith, Elias Wright,
Giles Kilbourne, Ruggles Spooner, Samuel Williams, Benjamin and Abel
Clark. Among the most useful pioneers was Caleb Brown, who built the
first grist mill in the town at "The Forks." He also built an oil mill
and cloth factory on the east branch of the Unadilla, and a woolen
factory a short distance south of the Forks.

A noted family was that of Parley Phillips, who came from Massachusetts
prior to 1800 and raised here a family of twelve children. Joshua
Babcock and his nine children were also prominent in the olden time. He
was a member of the assembly in 1818 to 1821, and presidential elector
in 1836. Azariah Armstrong came from Vermont in 1812. He had nine
children, several of whom have been leading citizens.

At Plainfield Center Joseph Sims was an early settler. His son Jeptha
was the author of "Sims' Border Wars." Joseph Sims jr., a grandson of
Joseph, was a noted author and lecturer.

VILLAGES: This is a fertile and prosperous township chiefly devoted to
dairying. It contains only one village, Unadilla Forks, with a
populatio of 312. Plainfield Center is a hamlet, the seat of a Welch
colony that still preserves its native language. Leonardsville is
mostly in Madison county.

SCHOOLS: Number of districts 11; teachers 8; children of school age
131. There is a Union Free school at Unadilla Forks with three

CHURCHES: At Unadilla Forks, Baptist and Free Baptist. At Plainfield
Center, Welch Congregational, with preaching in the Welch language.

Transcribed by Karen Flanders Eddy.

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